Présences Festival focuses on Kaija Saariaho

In Paris, Présences Festival is exploring cosmopolitanism in contemporary music with Finnish-Parisian Kaija Saariaho as a portrait composer. The festival is organized by Radio France and will have altogether 18 different concerts that include Saariaho’s music.

There are several Finnish musicians too performing at the festival. Cellist Anssi Karttunen, kantele player Eija Kankaanranta, clarinettist Kari Kriikku and pianist Tuija Hakkila are performing at the chamber music concerts, and string quartet Meta4 is having their own concert on February 19. The Finnish Baroque Orchestra is having a concert in Présences Festival on February 17 with soprano Pia Freund and baritone Gabriel Suovanen as soloists, performing Saariaho’s The Tempest Songbook, based on music by Henry Purcell.

Among the premieres of the festival there is a world premiere of Finnish composer Juha T. Koskinen’s new work Ophelia/Tiefsee for actor, solo viola and 16 players. Ophelia/Tiefsee is commissioned by Radio France, and the libretto is assembled by Aleksi Barrière.

Présences Festival will be held in Maison de la Radio in Paris on February 10–19, 2017.